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Cherry Red Records (label)
10 March 2017 (released)
This is even more surprising given the strength of Sea of Love, the band’s second album released in May 1988. Any music fan of the era will remember the striking, anthemic opening piano chords of Broken Land, a song partly inspired by The Troubles in their homeland, which became their biggest hit. Its dark verse pitched against a brighter, less despairing chorus, was almost too sophisticated for the Stock, Aitken and Waterman dominated charts of the time, but it still reached the top 20.
The cinematic feel is repeated throughout, with the wonderful Drowning in the Sea of Love and soaring When Your Heart Was Young almost as strong. There are impressive gear changes too, with the almost funky The Trip To Bountiful (When The Rain Comes Down) and the Simple Minds infused Hold Me Now hinting at greater things for The Adventures.
The fact they didn’t achieve those greater things can be partly explained by the excellent interview with the band’s Pat Gribben on the sleevenotes. Here he seems to sneer at the ‘enormous’ production that was pushed forward for The Sea Of Love and he claims they fought against it. It makes you wonder just how big the production would have been as the album has a widescreen feel as it is. Gribben admits that their follow up (Trading Secrets With The Moon) was intended to be the complete opposite and perhaps it meant they lost any momentum built by Sea of Love. There are added tracks for this re-release, including the quaint folk of The Curragh of Kildare and a cover of Instant Karma but the fact there are also two other versions of Broken Land underlines how a band’s career can often be shaped by one song.